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New Zealand betting industry set for a shake up?

New Zealand betting industry set for a shake up?

TAB, which owns the monopoly when it comes to betting online and in person in New Zealand, could be about to instigate a significant shake up by going into business with another overseas bookmaker.

While new betting sites have been launched in Australia, New Zealand has remained a one-brand country – legally at least – when it comes to licensed bookmakers.

That, of course, is the state-owned TAB – the totaliser board that is the home of racing and sports betting via in store branches and online via TAB.co.nz. But things could be about to change on the racing front.

TAB climbed to the top of thoroughbred hierarchy when the New Zealand Racing Board was disbanded in 2019, and they have much more power over their future.

Reports in New Zealand have revealed that TAB is set to shed around 300 jobs in the country and instead have the roles filled by an Australian-based betting partner in a move to bring the company up to speed when it comes to their racing product.

“TAB NZ is constantly exploring ways to enhance the customer experience for its New Zealand customers,” a TAB spokesperson is quoted as saying after confirming they had “commenced a process in relation to a partnering arrangement.

“As well as bringing increased funding and certainty for racing and an uplift in returns for sport, a potential partner can support rapidly accelerating improvements in our customer experience, customer acquisition, and harm minimisation tools and innovation.”

Although the move is far from certain, the Australian TAB – owned by Tabcorp – is reported to be pole position for the link up to provide technology and enhance their New Zealand equivalent’s racing service. 

Another who could be interested offering their service could be Betmakers, the technology provider who currently service the needs of a number of Australian betting sites themselves.

Suppliers further afield might well be interested with TAB suggesting the potential partnership could be with one of “a range of international wagering operators”. The arrangement, however, “has not been determined, and any decision will be made in the best interests of all stakeholders.”

TAB have experience outsourcing parts of their service having already teamed up with Paddy Power Betfair, the owners of Sportsbet in Australia, in 2019. 

PPB, which has since become Flutter, provide fixed odds for TAB’s sports betting operations online via gaming technology company OpenBet.

Both moves have been, or are being made, to help the TAB in NZ ward off the threat being posed by the availability of international betting sites in New Zealand as some of European-based bookmakers look to gain customers in the country.

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